Home to the oldest vine in Ireland planted in 1769, the walled garden at Mount Stewart is one of those we're hoping will benefit from our Walled Gardens appeal. The eight acre plot, which came into our care in 2014, once produced food for the house and estate. Two acres were converted into a rose garden and a dairy in 1925.
A neglected plant collector’s paradise
Once home to plant specimens from around the world collected by the Stewart family, the walled garden slipped into a state of neglect following a decline in family fortunes and is in need of dedicated conservation work.
The walled garden also plays a key role in the restoration of the house at Mount Stewart which reopened in 2015. Without plants from the restored garden, telling the story of Lady Londonderry’s house, which includes her famous Pot Pourri Room, would be incomplete.
An exciting challenge
The garden team have high hopes for the walled garden. Plans include replanting the rose garden, restoring the dairy, crafting and fitting new wooden gates, reinstating a path network, installing decorative borders and restoring the glasshouse which houses the vine.
‘The restoration of the walled garden will make the house come alive and be a source of excitement in its own right,’ says head gardener Neil Porteous. ‘The chance to restore this space to how Lady Londonderry had it is quite a thrill!”
A nursery in the restored walled garden will also give visitors the chance to see how Mount Stewart’s wider gardens are cared for. The garden will be home to young trees and shrubs before they’re given a permanent place in Mount Stewart’s extensive woodland gardens.